One Thursday in December, on the first morning of the first snowfall of the Christmas Season, three kids were walking to school. They were two brothers named DJ and Ryan and their little sister, Kaylee. Kaylee being in Kindergarden was the youngest, and she sure didn’t like it sometimes.
DJ said, “It sure is cold, I wish it was warmer!”
“I’m glad that it’s cold”, Kaylee replied.
“Are you crazy?”
“No I’m not!” Kaylee said, as she stamped her foot.
Ryan said, “Remember what Dad told us? The first snowfall of the season means Santa was here checking up on everyone to see if they were being good!” When the kids were around the corner from the school, Kaylee saw something lying out in the middle of the street and said, “Hey, what’s that?”
“I don’t know, let’s go see!” Ryan exclaimed.
So the boys began to run into the street, but when Kaylee started to go, DJ told her, “You stay here, Kaylee. You’re too young to go into the street.” Kaylee hated being the youngest sometimes.
When they got out into the street, they saw that the thing on the ground was a mitten, a green one with beautiful golden threads. About that time the school bell rang, so Ryan grabbed the mitten and put it in his book bag. The boys ran back to Kaylee and the three of them went on to school.
Later that night after the children had all done their homework, after the family had supper and after everybody was in bed, Ryan took the green mitten out of his book bag. Quietly, so he didn’t wake his brother, Ryan slipped the mitten onto his hand. When he did this, the room grew very bright, the mitten got very warm, and the golden threads started to sparkle. Of course this woke up his brother, DJ because they shared a room.
He couldn’t believe his eyes!
“What is that?” asked DJ, “And why is it so bright in here?”
Ryan said, “This is that mitten we found this morning, the green one with the golden threads. I waited ’till everyone was in bed, then I got it out and put it on. That’s when it got warm and bright in here!”
“What else does it do?” demanded DJ.
“I don’t know” said Ryan and pointed the mitten at one of his stuffed animals.
Suddenly it rose up and started shaking. This scared Ryan, so he quickly took the mitten off and the stuffed bear fell back on the bed. His brother, Ryan grabbed the mitten, put it on and pointed it at the stuffed animal again. Once again, the bear rose up and this time Ryan moved the mitten and the bear moved, too! Wherever the mitten pointed, the stuffed bear moved all around the room.
“Wow!” said Ryan.
“How does it do that?” wondered DJ. “Why does it do that?”
Ryan said, “I have an idea.” Then he pointed it at their dog, Buddy. Just like the stuffed bear, he began to rise up and move when the mitten was pointing at him.
“This has got to belong to Santa!” exclaimed Ryan as he lowered the mitten and let Buddy back down on his bed. “Think about it, we found it the morning after the first snow fall of the winter when Santa was flying overhead checking up on who is naughty and nice.
“He must have dropped it,” DJ said.
“This is cool!” exclaimed Ryan as he pointed it at their dog again. And before any of them knew it, Buddy was flying around the room, wagging his tail and barking happily. The barking must have woken their parents up, because just then, the hallway light came on. “Oh no!” DJ said, “Its Dad! Ryan put Buddy down and hide the mitten; we’ll talk about this in the morning!” So Ryan quickly put the mitten under his pillow and for the rest of the night he dreamed about mittens, and flying, and all sorts of wonderful things.
The next morning the children’s older sister, Katelyn brought her little boy, Brenden over. She was grown up and out of the house, so it was always fun when she visited and brought her baby.
The boys were very sleepy because they were up so late the night before playing with the mitten. Mom was pretty busy baby-sitting their cousin and making their lunches, so she almost didn’t notice that the boys were running late. In their rush to get ready, Ryan forgot the mitten under his pillow, and the boys went to school without it.
Later that afternoon around his naptime, Brenden began to get a little fussy. So Ryan’s Mom put Brenden down for his nap in Ryan’s bed. While Brenden was supposed to be taking a nap, he found the mitten under the pillow where Ryan had left it. Without giving it a thought, he slipped the mitten on. The room grew very bright, the mitten got very warm, and the golden threads started to sparkle! Of course Brenden was frightened and without meaning to, he pointed the mitten at his cousin’s dog, Buddy.
This time Buddy was ready and he took off flying through the house! Brenden laughed and laughed crying, “Look at Buddy! He can fly!” He ran after Buddy as he flew into the kitchen. Mom and Dad ran into the kitchen to see what the racket was all about. You should have seen the look on their faces when they saw their dog flying through the air!
“What is that dog doing?” yelled Mom.
“Come here, Buddy” Dad called and grabbed the dog.
Well, you can imagine how many questions they had for the boys when they got home from school.
“Where did you get that mitten?” Brenden’s Mom, Katelyn wanted to know.
“Who gave it to you?” asked Dad. Brenden started laughing and tried to grab the mitten. “No, Brenden, you shouldn’t play with this you might get hurt,” said Katelyn.
“Nobody is going to play with this!” stated Mom, “Because tomorrow I’m taking it down to the police station. They will know what to do with it.”
That night after everyone was asleep; Ryan got out of bed and woke D.J up. “Come on,” he said, “we gotta get that mitten back. If Santa doesn’t have that mitten, then there won’t be any Christmas.”
“Do you think Santa really dropped it on the street by our school?” DJ wondered.
Ryan replied, “Of course, he did; and we’ve got to get it back to him.”
“Well, we’d better get the mitten from Mom before she gives it to the police, then.” DJ warned.
“I know!” said DJ, “Ryan, you could pretend to be sick and when Mom goes to get the thermometer, you could grab the mitten!”
“No way! I’m not getting into trouble this close to Christmas.” exclaimed Ryan, and he added a very firm, “Forget you, pal!”
“It looks like I’ll have to do this myself,” sighed DJ.
“Well, you are the oldest,” said Ryan. All of a sudden, DJ didn’t like being the oldest. But he walked to his parent’s room and very timidly knocked on their bedroom door. When there was no answer, he swallowed hard and knocked again, louder. This time he heard his Mom say, “Who is it? – What’s the matter?”
“It’s me, Mom.” DJ answered.
“Come on in, son.” his Mom replied as she turned on the light, “What’s wrong?”
“W-W-Well, I-I was w-wondering if you would t-t-take my t-temperature,” stammered DJ. He was very nervous. While his Mom was getting the thermometer, DJ grabbed the mitten off of her dresser and tossed it into the living room where it was dark. She returned with the thermometer and DJ said “I feel better, Mom. Guess it was just a-a bad dream.”
Mom said, “After all the excitement today, it’s a wonder you can sleep at all! Now go back to bed.”
So DJ turned and walked out of his parents’ room. When his Mom had closed the door, DJ grabbed the mitten and ran back to show his brothers that he had gotten it!
“I got it! I got it!” exclaimed DJ.
“SShhh!” warned Ryan, “You wanna wake up everybody in the whole house?
“Okay, okay.” DJ sighed, “But now in the morning Mom will see that the mitten is gone and she’ll know that I took it!”
“Well, we gotta get it to Santa before Mom finds out then.” added Ryan.
“How are we going to do that?” asked DJ, “It’s not like he lives across town. I mean do you know how far away the North Pole is?”
“But if Santa doesn’t get that mitten he can’t make his reindeer fly. And if he can’t make his reindeer fly, then there won’t be any Christmas!” cried Ryan.
“Looks like we’ve got no choice, we’ll have to leave tonight and take the mitten back to Santa,” Ryan decided.
“Oh right, we’ll just hop in Dad’s car, cruise up to the North Pole and say ‘Hey Santa, how’s it going dude? Oh and, by the way, here’s your mitten!’” DJ laughed.
“Come on, think. What do we have that can take us anywhere we want to go?” asked Ryan.
When DJ didn’t answer, Ryan said, “The mitten!”
Once again DJ laughed and said, “Yeah! I’ll be right back. Just gotta go outside and harness up all our reindeer!”
“No duh, we’ll have to use something else.” Rubbing his chin and thinking out loud, Ryan said, “Well, Buddy isn’t big enough and doesn’t have thick enough fur to keep him warm at the North Pole, but I do know where there is a dog that could do the job.” answered Ryan.
“No way!” said DJ. “That’s too dangerous.”
”But we’ve got to do something,” Ryan replied. “I mean if Santa doesn’t get this mitten back, there won’t be a Christmas!”
“Come on, DJ” said Ryan. “You know I’m right, we have to do something.”
“But Killer is a HUGE dog. And his name is KILLER! And he is a KILLER dog!!” cried DJ.
“I think he’s just a Saint Bernard,” Ryan said.
Ryan was talking about the biggest, meanest dog in the whole town. Killer. Killer belonged to Old Man Foster, who lived in the creepiest, scariest house in the whole town.
“Look, we have to try. How would you feel if we didn’t even try?” asked Ryan.
“Okay, okay,” DJ finally gave in, “let’s go. But remember, this wasn’t my idea.”
Quietly the boys got dressed and snuck out of their house and started down the road on their way out to the edge of town, to the scariest old house around – the Foster House!
As the boys got out on the road, they heard footsteps behind them. DJ said, “Run and hide!” so the boys quickly ran over to the side of the road and hid behind a telephone pole. All they heard was laughter. Peeking out from the telephone pole, DJ saw his little sister standing in the middle of the road, laughing at her brothers.
“It’s only Kaylee, Ryan. Come on out.” said DJ as he turned to his sister, asking “What are you doing here, Kaylee?”
“I heard you guys sneak out of the house, so I followed you,” she said. “What are you doing way out here, anyway?”
“We’re getting Old Man Foster’s dog, Killer and we’re gonna use him to go to the North Pole and give Santa his mitten back and save Christmas!” Ryan gushed all at once.
“Be quiet Ryan,” DJ said, “now she knows what our plans are. You’ll have to go back home, Kaylee.”
But she would have nothing of that, “I wanna go with you!! If you make me go back I’ll tell Mom and Dad all about your dumb old plans!”
“We don’t have time to argue,” DJ added, “so you’ll have to listen to us and do whatever we say.”
“Okay, I promise!!” Kaylee said, excited to be included in her brothers’ adventure. Maybe it wasn’t so bad being the youngest.
So now the three of them approached the old Foster house. They snuck into the back yard through a hole in the fence between two bushes.
“There’s Killer,” said DJ.
“I hope he’s already had dinner!” gulped Ryan.
Just about then, the back porch light came on and a gruff voice said, “Okay you kids, come on out. I know what you’re up to!”
“Oh no! How’d he know what we’re doing?” asked Ryan. But the kids stood and slowly walked up to the old house.
Once inside they found the house very neat and tidy. Then they reluctantly told Mr. Foster the whole story. Instead of yelling at them or calling the police, Mr. Foster smiled and said, “Well, after that adventure, I bet that you kids would enjoy a cup of hot chocolate!” And with that he turned and went into the kitchen to make four steaming cups of hot chocolate – complete with marshmallows. While he was gone Ryan said, “Wow! I thought he was mean and grumpy.”
“I guess we were wrong about him,” Ryan offered. “Remember that Dad says to look for the best in everybody.”
“Hey, don’t forget, we’ve still got a mitten to deliver.” DJ reminded everyone.
Just then there was a knock on the front door and Mr. Foster went to open it. Never in a thousand years – no – never ever even in a million years would DJ or Ryan or even Kaylee have guessed who was about to step into that old house just then!
But there he was – red suit, black boots, white beard and only one green mitten!!
“I understand you children found something that just might belong to me.” he said with a voice that was at once booming with authority and yet soft and gentle at the same time. None of the boys were able to say a single word, but Kaylee stood up and yelled “Santa Claus!” and ran straight to him. Then she gave him the biggest hug that she knew how to give!
For the next half hour the children told Santa how they had found the mitten and all the trouble that they had gone through to try to return it to him. Finally, Santa looked at his pocket watch and said, “Well children, if you’ll give me the mitten, I’ll be going now. After all, Christmas is only a week away and I still have a lot to do!” So DJ handed the mitten to Santa and all the children and Mr. Foster told Santa goodbye. And as he walked out the door everyone heard him say, “Ho, ho, ho! Thank you children, and Merry Christmas.”
Shortly after Santa left, the children saw car headlights pull up to the house. “Uh-oh,” said DJ, “its Mom and Dad.”
“I bet we’re really gonna get it!” cried DJ.
Ryan said, “Since it was my idea to try to make it to the North Pole, I’ll take the punishment.”
Then Ryan realized that in all their excitement over meeting Santa Claus, they forgot to ask him how he had known that they had his mitten. So, he asked, “But how did Santa and Mom and Dad know where we were and what we were doing?”
“I guess I can answer that,” said Dad as he walked through the door. “Mr. Foster gave us a call a little while ago. He said that you were all over here and he also told us about the mitten.”
“But how did you know, Mr. Foster?” asked DJ.
“Yeah, how did you know about the mitten and how did Santa know?” demanded Kaylee.
“Okay, okay kids!” Dad exclaimed, “That’s enough for tonight. It’s late and we need to get you kids back home to bed!” Then he turned to Mr. Foster and said, “Thanks so much, we’re sorry if the kids bothered you or Killer. You know how excited kids can get around Christmas time.”
“Oh don’t worry about it. It was fun to have visitors. They’re welcome anytime for a cup of hot chocolate!” replied Mr. Foster.
With that Mom and Dad ushered the kids out the front door. As they were on their way out and just before she walked out Mr. Foster’s front door, Kaylee looked back and she saw something that made it all very clear for her. On a table in the other room, where she could just see it through a partially open door was a bright red phone next to a candy cane-striped pole with a sign on it that read
No one else saw it, only her.
And for the first time, she was glad she was the youngest.